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William Hope HodgsonDavid Balfour07-20-06  05:29 pm
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 08:02 am:   

I'm sure I saw this in another thread, but I can't find it now. I'm looking for recommendations on good places to buy books in NYC. Places that stock fantasy would be nice, as well as places that stock strange books. Thanks.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 01:29 pm:   

The Strand, Shakespeare and Company. Skyline (I think it's still there on 18th street between 5th and 6th avenues and if it is stop in Academy for excellent deals and good selection of used CDS. )


No specialty sf/f/h shops in NYC any more.
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GabrielM
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 04:19 pm:   

For new books, also St Mark's Books in the East Village. It's a good all-around bookstore that also stocks some quirky stuff.

For used and new, in addition to The Strand, it's worth checking out Gotham Book Mart in midtown, which moved to a new, larger location and looks great.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 06:26 pm:   

Gabe,
I haven't been to the new Gotham--where did they move to?

Bob, Gotham Book Mart specializes in Edward Gorey books and prints.

There are some excellent specialty mystery bookstores: Partners in Crime on Greenwich Avenue in the west village and Otto Penzler's bookstore on the upper west side.
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GabrielM
Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - 09:12 am:   

On 46th between Fifth and Madison. It's quite spacious and elegant, a high-end rare dealer used to be there before, I forget which. The first floor is mostly new books and the second is used. The second floor in particular is huge and it's clear they've been able to bring a lot of stuff out of storage.

BTW, Penzler' shop has also relocated. It's now in Tribeca, on Warren between Church and West Broadway. It's a large, bright space, although I miss some of the cramped coziness of the old shop. The entire back wall is taken up with Sherlockiana. But it's not far from work, so I can now go there with some frequency.

It might also be worth mentioning Labyrinth, which is uptown by Columbia and has an excellent selection of literature, criticism and academic press books.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - 12:33 pm:   

Thanks. Now that I'm looking at all this stuff on a map, I'm sure I won't have time to go to all of the places I'd like to (like Labyrinth seems away from other things I want to see, so I may skip it, but that may change). The only definite things on my to-do list there are Joe's Pub for a concert and the Metropolitan. The rest is up in the air for now.
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GabrielM
Posted on Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - 07:28 am:   

If you go to the Strand, note there are a couple of good used bookstores nearby, Alabaster which is around the corner on 4th Ave, and 12th St Books, which is a couple of blocks down the street. The latter in particular is quite good, and I know they recently acquired a very large collection of scholarly music books, with emphasis on classical.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - 04:17 pm:   

Also, check out the "rare book" room in the Strand.
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William Lexner
Posted on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 09:41 am:   

The Strand bookstore in Manhattan was the single most dissapointing book store I have ever been in.

Rare book room? Crap.
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 12:29 pm:   

Yay! Someone else that hates the Strand! I thought I was the only one.

JK
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Rob Bedford
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 06:15 pm:   

I stumbled into the Strand a couple of months ago and was disappointed, too. Sure there were a couple of Gollancz books, but I can also find a couple of Gollancz books a few miles from home at the Princeton Barnes & Noble.
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 07:13 pm:   

I discovered my problem with the Strand is that I am not a book browser. I am a book searcher. When I go into a bookstore, I am looking for specific books. I am not looking to wander the stacks and be inspired by what I see. I am looking for a particular book or a particular author.

The Strand sucks for this. Particularly if you want genre fiction. When I first moved to the New York area I was very excited at the prospect of seeing the bookstores in New York (where! publishing! happens!) only to be disappointed again and again. I don't think I've found any bookstore in New York that I like that wasn't a chain.

JK
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 01:07 pm:   

I don't much care for the Strand either. There actually aren't that many books as far as I am concerned and very few that interest me. I can walk in with a list of 100 books I am looking for and not find a single one. They (most big city US bookstores) are also overpriced. In general the US is crazily expensive for used books. The only place worse is the UK. In Italy I can often find really rare stuff, 100 or 150 years old, for often under 10 euros a book (for pulp sometimes even significantly less). In the US most decent old books seem to be a lot more, and most cool stuff over easily over 100 dollars a book (such as Fantomas). . . . Actually, when I am in NY I usually only bother with the outside bins for the Strand.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 - 09:23 am:   

I wasn't happy with my first trip to The Strand. I went in with a few books I wanted to search for, and came up empty on all of them. When I decided to browse, I had no luck either. Looking for archeology books, I spent about 20 minutes wandering around and I couldn't find a section that had them.

I did have some luck at St Marks.

Something else I found odd is the number of places that claim to be the world's largest bookstore. The Strand claims it. I was told a place in Toronto claims it. I've seen quite a few people say Powell's is the largest in North America. Does one claim it based on physical space and another claim it on number of books? I didn't see the Toronto place, but I though Powell's was larger in terms of space, but I'm not sure on number of books. It was much easier to find stuff I wanted there.
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Solomon Gursky
Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2007 - 09:00 am:   

Wow, I should really get on this forum more often. I work at McNally Robinson Booksellers on Prince St. in Manhattan. I run the SF/F section, among others, and if it's not the largest in the city it's one of the best. I hand pick our stock, and am always always open to suggestions. Our store also has one of the best poetry sections around (also my baby), and a great selection of novels. We sell new books, so our inventory is searchable (this means you John Klima. Say hi if you stop by, I'd love to meet you.) Plus, coffeshop! I know this is crappy self-promotion, but really it makes my day when folks come in and talk to me about books. You'd think I'd be tired of it, but it hasn't happened yet.

Apart from my store, sometimes the genre shelf at Housing Works used bookstore up the block from us has some gems. Got a copy of Persistence of Vision for fifty cents the other day, and bought it with Gide's The Immoralist. I've seen a lot of Pyr's stuff turning up there, too, which is not always easy to get elsewhere.
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Solomon Gursky
Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2007 - 09:07 am:   

Hmmm. Who else do I like? Morningside Books, up near Labyrinth, is nice. Three Lives in the village is an old standby, though their genre stuff is limited. In the BK try Adam's in Park Slope for used stuff. They have a nice SF/F grotto. Or else BookCourt on, where else, Court St. for new stuff.

And I agree about the Strand being a bit of a letdown. Worth the trip for marked down mainstream hardcover remainders, but little else. Apparently their staff is treated poorly, too.
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Chris Johnson
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 03:48 pm:   

Hello Solomon,

Not sure if you've heard of Medusa Press yet, but they just put out a new collection of John Gordon's supernatural tales, "Left in the Dark."

If you haven't read any of his work, it's really amazing stuff!
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Solomon Gursky
Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - 07:37 pm:   

Thanks Chris, I'll check it out.
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - 08:33 pm:   

Well, if I ever find myself back in NY, I'll make sure to stop by! I moved to IA in Feb, unfortunately, so I don't know when/if I'll be back. :-(

John Klima
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Solomon Gursky
Posted on Friday, June 22, 2007 - 09:23 pm:   

That's too bad John. One of the women I work with just discovered Loggorhea and like it so much sher's made it one of her "Staff Picks" for this coming month.
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, June 22, 2007 - 09:50 pm:   

Cool! I think I may be in NYC in January, but I doubt the staff pick will still be there by then. :-)

JK

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